Wednesday, November 7, 2012

2nd Annual Carolina Clan Gathering, Huntington Beach State Park, SC

We left the Carolina Clan Gathering yesterday after spending the past week at Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, SC. What a week it was! We arrived on Tuesday, October 30th. Several of the gang was already there with people arriving as early as the previous weekend and Monday. Many of us arrived within an hour of each other Tuesday and more drifted in Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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After lots and lots of hugs and handshakes, we all grabbed chairs and made a circle in Bill and Nancy front yard for Happy Hour. It was still quite breezy, compliments of Hurricane Sandy, and the temps were falling, so by the time it started getting dark, we all dispersed to our own homes for dinner and TV.


We took off on a walk Wednesday morning that ended up being 5 miles. This is a beautiful park and a wonderful place to walk. We started out on the Atalaya trail around to the Causeway, past the Sandpiper Pond Nature Trail to the Beach. This park is right on the ocean and it’s my kind of park. Lots of trees and lots of water. The sites are large and most are private.

Huntington Beach State Park

In the afternoon, a bunch of us ended up down at the beach for some visiting time until the winds chilled us enough to send us home. We moved Happy Hour to Jim and Dee’s back yard to accommodate our growing size.


Shortly after we arrived, someone noticed a Tiffin Bus on the street that looked exactly like Lucy! Rick walked out to make sure someone wasn’t taking Lucy for a ride :) and met Lucy’s twin and her owners, Carol and Steve. They are friends of Paul and Marti, heard about the Gathering and decided to come join us!

Lucy's Twin

Later on, after dinner, a few of us sat around a campfire at Gin and Syl’s. It was “Survivor” night, so several people stayed home to watch that. When we left, there were still quite a few around the fire. We are not “Survivor” fans but we did have to go home to watch “Criminal Minds” :)


Thursday was cool and windy. Many of the group took off on bike rides or went for walks. Our previous day 5 mile walk shrunk to just 2 on Thursday. Neither of us slept well the night before and we were just tired all day. We did make a post office run and stopped at Subway for lunch.

We skipped the normal Happy Hour and had a huge campfire at Gin and Syl’s later. More people arrived that afternoon so the group was overflowing and one fire wasn’t enough to keep people warm.  If there’s one thing all the guys seem to love, it’s building and tending a fire. Before we knew it, we had twin fires going :)


Bill and Nancy had recently been to PA and had come back laden with pretzels, cookies and a few other goodies. Bill was having a great time passing all those goodies around the circle. No one went hungry in this group!

We cut it short and turned in early.


After a good walk in the morning with Laura and Bruce-4 miles, we joined 26 others on a kayak trip on the Inter-coastal waterway. What a blast that was! We had 13 Sea Eagles and 2 hard shelled kayaks for a wonderful afternoon. Nancy had researched the tides so we put in about 2:30 PM for maximum advantage. As it turned out, the paddle was only 4.5 miles but it sure seemed like it was much further coming back than it was going out :)

Sea Eagle Regatta

More Sea Eagles

We had hitched a ride with Bruce and Laura to the launch site and on the way home, decided to stop for a beer. It was, after all, beer-thirty :) We chose a little place that actually had available parking, unlike most places. When we walked in, we were the only people there and it was 6 PM on Friday night! Scary! We all ordered a beer, shared some peanuts and decided to stay safe and not order the food :) There were a few other customers before we left but we played it safe and came home to eat :)

We skipped the campfire that night. I’m sure it was wonderful, as usual, but we had had plenty of fresh air and decided to make it an early night :)


Saturday, we met up with Bruce and Laura and took off for Camping World and lunch at California Dreaming Restaurant and Bar. Laura eats at one of these restaurants at every opportunity, so we were happy to help her indulge :) I had never heard of them before, but the food was excellent and so was the company!

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While at Camping World later on, I was standing outside admiring their folding bicycles and contemplating possibly investing in a bike in the near future when Paul and Marti showed up. They have folding Dahon bikes and offered to let me try one out when we got back home. They didn’t have to offer twice :) Dahon is really the Cadillac of the folding bike industry but their prices are a little out of my budget. The knock-offs at Camping World did not seem to be built anywhere near as well, but their prices were more friendly. What to do, what to do? Granted, I am still a klutz. I probably have no business with a bike, but I want to increase my daily mileage and a combo of walking and biking appeals to me. I’ve been walking 3-6 miles a day recently. I doubt it’s done anything for the klutz factor, but I did test drive the Dahon and I didn’t kill myself! :)

I’ve decided to watch Craigslist and see if I can pick up a used bike to test drive, so to speak. Part of my problem is, I know nothing about bikes! What would you suggest I look for if I wanted to ride around the campground and also do paved trails? Nothing extreme but more than just riding in circles around the loop :) I welcome all suggestions.


Sunday dawned as a beautiful, sunny warm day. It was the nicest day of the entire week. We walked the trails, we walked the beach. We totally enjoyed the weather.

That afternoon, we joined Gin and Syl at their site for a great game of Hand and Foot while watching the Green Bay Packer game on their outside TV. The Pack won and so did Gin and Syl :) They whooped us good!

We had a Pizza Party at the evening campfire that night. Yum! The evening turned short when a cold front blew in and rain was threatening.


Monday was our last full day there. We had lunch at Capriz with several of our friends. That was SO good! If you are ever in Myrtle Beach, it is a must do! Excellent! We made a short Costco stop on the way home and had another fire that night.

The week had winded down and in the morning, we would be leaving. As the week progressed, I noticed I took fewer and fewer photos. I was having too much fun to be thinking about photo taking. Well, it could be that, but I’m going to say that what happens at the Carolina Clan Gathering, stays at the Carolina Clan Gathering! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! :)

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle


  1. Thanks for the summary Gail. It's nice to get a picture of each day you all were having so much fun. Really sorry I missed it. I'm zero for two now. Wonder if 3rd time is the charm??? Are you coming back to Huntington next year as well??

    1. I'm not sure where next years will be. The torch has been passed to Marti and Laurie. They are in charge.

  2. What a great recap of the fun we all had. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  3. What a great week with lots of fun and lots of laughs!

  4. Great Recap!! Most of the clan has moved on;o(( Hope you get things taken care of quickly and move on to your winter haven!!

    As for a bike, get the best you can afford!! If you are interested in doing Rail-Trails and any sort of distance, a hybrid is a fantastic bike. Just very important to get one fitted to you. That is usually done at a bike shop. Not familiar with folding bikes.

  5. Great recap. If anyone wants to see more pictures we have them on our blog.

  6. As always, thanks for posting. It appeared that it was a memorable week for everyone there. We hope you and Rick have a safe trip to Texas.

  7. Seems like half of blogland is at that Rally - thanks for the update.

  8. Great seeing you at the gathering. Too bad it went so quickly, we were just getting warmed up...oops, I forgot, what happens at the gathering stays at the gathering! ;c)

  9. Sounds like a blast. We have hybrid bikes that are great for streets or easy trails.

  10. You sure stayed busy and had fun. Not Survivor fans ... but yes, Criminal Minds will get us in front of the TV.

  11. What a great week it was!! Sorry about the Hand n Foot game but the cards just fell our way. We will have to play again some day. Nice recap that we will look back on fondly.

  12. lol we were in myrtle beach with friends...we must have just missed you at Camping World...we did run into Laurie and George while there :)...and we had lunch with Paul and Marti...sounds like the rally was a success...


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